Professor Tim Dare

BA, LLB(Hons), M.Jur (Dist) (Auckland), PhD (Alberta)

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Tim Dare is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Auckland.  

He worked briefly as a lawyer before doing his PhD in the philosophy of law and starting his academic career in the early 1990s.  

His publications include books and articles on the philosophy of  law, legal ethics, immunisation programmes, the significance of judicial disagreement, parental rights and medical decisions, the proper allocation of the burden of proof, and the use of predictive analytics in child protection.

He is employed by New Zealand’s Ministry of Social Development to provide data ethics advice and to develop privacy, human rights, and ethical review processes for proposed uses of client data.  He has provided ethical reviews of a number of predictive risk modelling tools in New Zealand and the US.

He sits on a number of local and national research and clinical ethics committees.

He is principal investigator on a NZ Royal Society Marsden Grant (2019-2021) investigating the ethics of using predictive risk modelling tools in social policy contexts.  

Principal investigator

NZ Royal Society Marsden Grant (2018-2020): The ethics of social policy uses of predictive risk modelling. 

Previous appointments

1990-1992 Lecturer in Philosophy and Law, Victoria University of Wellington

1987 Solicitor, Shieff, Angland, Dew, Auckland

1984-1987, Judges Clerk, High Court of New Zealand

Research interests

Ethical Analysis of Predictive Risk Modelling

Applied and professional ethics

Legal ethics

Philosophy of Law

Medical ethics

Research | Current

  • Ethical analysis of predictive risk modelling
  • Applied and professional ethics
  • Legal ethics
  • Philosophy of law
  • Medical ethics

Research specialties:

  • Professional and Applied Ethics
  • Legal Ethics: I have published widely on legal ethics and continue research in the area.  I have been identified as a key figure the development of a new sub-discipline withinin legal ethics - 'philosophical legal ethics' - my contribution to which has been an analysis of lawyers' role-differentiated ethical obligations and permissions 
  • Roles and obligation: My work on the relation between lawyers' obligations and their roles has led to a  broader research interest into the centrality of roles to moral obligation.
  • Philosophy of Law: I am interested in the way in which rules function as reasons for action; the plausibility of broadly positivist theories of law, and in the way in which jurisprudence plays out in ethical analysis of law. I have recently published on Ronald Dworkin's argument from theoretical disagreement.
  • Medical Ethics: I have a number of non-research roles on clinical ethics committees and write on issues which I encounter in those roles.
  • Philosophical methodology: I am the co-author (with Dr Justine Kingsbury of the University of Waikato) of a paper on the Burden of Proof. Dr Kingsbury and I have also written a linked paper on the uses of scientific data in philosophical argument.
  • Predictive Risk Modelling: I have recently completed a major research project for the New Zealand Ministry of Social Development, providing an ethical analysis of the use of predictive risk modelling tools in the child maltreatment area.

Teaching | Current

PHIL 217 Philosophy of Law

PHIL 337 Philosophy of Law

Areas of expertise

Applied and professional ethics, Legal ethics, Philosophy of Law, Medical ethics, Ethical Analysis of Predictive Risk Modelling

Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • Board Member, International Association of Legal Ethics
  • Editorial Board, Legal Ethics
  • Member, Clinical Ethics Committees of Waitemata and Taranaki District Health Boards
  • Member, NZ Medical Council Major Transmissible Virus Committee
  • Steering Committee, University of Otago, Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Public Policy
  • Contracted Data Ethics Adviser to Ministry of Social Development

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Kingsbury, J., & Dare, T. (2017). The philosophical use and misuse of science. Metaphilosophy, 48 (4), 449-466. 10.1111/meta.12256
  • Dare, T. (2016). Robust role-obligation: How do roles make a moral difference?. Journal of Value Inquiry, 50 (4), 703-719. 10.1007/s10790-016-9577-2
  • Dare, T. (2014). Disagreement Over Vaccination Programmes: Deep Or Merely Complex and Why Does It Matter?. HEC Forum, 26 (1), 43-57. 10.1007/s10730-013-9227-z
  • Dare, T., Vaithianathan, R., & De Haan, I. (2014). Addressing child maltreatment in New Zealand: Is poverty reduction enough?. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 46 (9), 989-994. 10.1080/00131857.2014.938450
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Irene De Haan
  • Dare, T. (2013). Disagreeing about Disagreement in Law: The Argument from Theoretical Disagreement. Philosophical Topics, 38 (2), 1-15. 10.5840/philtopics201038211
  • vaithianathan, R., Dare, T., Maloney, T., Jiang, N., De Haan, I., Dale, C., & Putnam-Horstein, E. (2012). Vulnerable Children: Can administrative data be used to identify children at risk of adverse outcomes?. Ministry of Social Development. Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Irene De Haan, Claire Dale
  • Dare, T. (2009). The Counsel of Rogues? A Defence of the Standard Conception of the Lawyer's Role. Farnham: Ashgate Publishing Limited. Pages: 182.
  • Dare, T. (2004). Mere-Zeal, Hyper-Zeal and the Ethical Obligations of Lawyers. Legal Ethics, 7 (1), 24-38. Related URL.


Contact details

Alternative contact

Correct Location:
Level 4, Room 206-429
Auckland 1010
New Zealand

Primary office location

Level 4, Room 429
New Zealand

Web links